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ABILITY TO SPEAK ENGLISH.

The following table shows the number and per cent of persons 6 years of age or over in the households studied who speak English, by sex and general nativity and race of individual. Computations are made only for races reporting 40 or more individuals, but the totals are for all non-English-speaking races.

TABLE 551.-Per cent of persons 6 years of age or over who speak English, by sex and general nativity and race of individual.

(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)

[This table includes only non-English-speaking races with 40 or more persons reporting. The totals, however, are for all non-English-speaking races.]

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Of all persons reported as native-born of foreign father in the table above, 97 per cent speak English. Of the foreign-born individuals, the Lithuanians and Germans, with percentages of 58 and 57.1, respectively, show a greater ability to speak English than do the North Italians, Magyars, Slovaks, Poles, and South Italians, who, in the order named, range from 36.4 for the North Italians to 27.8 for the Poles and South Italians. The Slovaks, with a percentage of 33.3, are nearest the general showing for all foreign-born. Every foreignborn race, except the North Italian and Polish, reports a smaller percentage of females who speak English than of males. In the case of the North Italians, the proportion of females exceeds that of the males. The proportion for males and females is the same for the Poles.

The table next presented shows the proportion of individuals among foreign-born mine workers of non-English-speaking races employed in the bituminous coal-mining industry of the South who are able to speak English. The classification is by race and general nativity.

TABLE 552.—Per cent of foreign-born male employees who speak English, by race.

(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.)

[This table includes only non-English-speaking races with 40 or more males reporting. The total, however, is for all non-English-speaking races.]

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Data were collected for 3,537 individuals. Of these, 2,248, or 63.6 per cent, speak English. The races having the largest proportion of individuals able to speak English are the Lithuanian, German, Croatian, and Russian, in the order mentioned. Those having the smallest proportion are the Bulgarian and Montenegrin.

The next table presented, while serving to emphasize the comparative racial adaptability, is of greatest value in establishing the effect of age upon the alien's ability to learn the language of the country to which he has immigrated. This table shows the ability to speak English among the foreign-born, according to age at time of arrival in the United States and by race.

TABLE 553.-Per cent of foreign-born persons 6 years of age or over who speak English, by age at time of coming to the United States and race of individual.

(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)

[This table includes only non-English-speaking races with 40 or more persons reporting. The total, however, is for all non-English-speaking races.]

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The preceding table sets forth the per cent of foreign-born persons 6 years of age or over who speak English, according to their age at time of arrival. It is seen at a glance that in every race a greater proportion of those who were under 14 years of age at time of arrival are able to speak English than those who were 14 or over. This is particularly noticeable of the South Italians and Poles.

In connection with the foregoing tables the effect of period of residence in the United States upon ability to speak English should also be considered. As regards this point the following table shows the number and per cent of foreign-born persons 6 years of age or over who speak English, according to years in the United States and race of individual:

TABLE 554. -Per cent of foreign-born persons 6 years of age or over who speak English, by years in the United States and race of individual.

(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)

[By years in the United States is meant years since first arrival in the United States. This table includes only non-English-speaking races with 40 or more persons reporting. The total, however, is for all non-English-speaking races.]

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The foregoing table affords an index to the adaptability and intelligence of the various races measured by their ability to learn English. In this respect the Germans are shown to be superior to all other immigrant mine workers, while the Slovaks are slowest to learn. Over one-third of the Germans of this field who have been in the United States under five years speak English, a percentage approached only by the Lithuanians. Moreover, all Germans who have been in this country ten years or over have learned the new language. The same situation is also true of the North Italians of ten or more than ten years' residence.

Although the South Italians do not seem to learn English as quickly as Germans, North Italians, Lithuanians, or Magyars, as only 12.9 per cent of those who have been in the country five years can speak English, they rank next to the Germans and North Italians in ability where consideration is confined to those who have been in the country ten years or longer. One-third of the Lithuanians of a period of residence under five years are able to speak English, as are more than one-half of those who have been in the United States from five to nine years.

The following table shows the per cent of the individual employees of foreign birth, who speak English, according to age at time of arrival in the United States:

TABLE 555.-Per cent of foreign-born male employees who speak English, by age at time of coming to the United States and race.

(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.)

[This table includes only non-English-speaking races with 100 or more males reporting. The total, however, is for all non-English-speaking races.]

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Of those persons in the above table who were under 14 years of age at the time of arriving in the United States, 88.3 per cent speak English, while the percentage for those who were 14 years or over when they immigrated to this country is 62.3. Considering the tendencies exhibited by members of the several races who were under 14 years of age at the time of arriving here, it is seen that the Germans and Slovaks report no one unable to speak English. The Poles and South Italians show a small percentage unable to speak the language.

Of those who were 14 years old or over at the time of arrival in the United States, the Germans have 88 per cent speaking English. The next highest percentage is that of the Croatians. More than 25 per cent difference separates all the other races from the Germans. The North Italians, the South Italians, the Magyars, and the Poles show similar percentages able to use the language of this country. The Bulgarians have only 25.2 per cent of their numbers able to speak English.

The table following shows the ability of the foreign-born employees studied to speak English. The returns are classified by length of residence in the United States of different groups of employees.

TABLE 556.-Per cent of foreign-born male employees who speak English, by years in the United States and race.

(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.)

[By years in the United States is meant years since first arrival in the United States. This table includes only non-English-speaking races with 100 or more males reporting. The total, however, is for all nonEnglish-speaking races.]

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Data for the preceding table have been secured from 3,537 individuals of 8 different races. Of these races the South Italians are shown in the greatest numbers. The proportion of the persons of each period of residence who speak English is, for those under five years, 46.4 per cent; five to nine years, 78 per cent; and for those ten years or over, 89.8 per cent, indicating a constant progress in acquiring the use of English corresponding to the number of years in the United States.

The races having the largest proportion of individuals in the United States less than five years who can speak English are the German, Croatian, and South Italian, in the order mentioned; that having the smallest proportion is the Bulgarian. The proportion of individuals in this country from five to nine years who are able to speak English is highest among the Germans, Croatians, and Bulgarians, and lowest among the North Italians and South Italians. The races having the largest proportion of individuals in the United States ten years or over who are able to speak English are the German and Polish; those of the same group having the smallest proportion are the Croatian and South Italian.

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